February 25, 2011 – Stanley

The Missionary Question Romans 10:11-15

At every missions conference hosted by my church, I give God the same message I’ve been repeating since my early 20s: “I’m available, Lord. I’ll go to foreign fields if you say so.” Until He tells me to pack my bags, I’m going to keep on sending others to work among unbelievers in distant and even remote lands.

Paul asked a series of rhetorical questions in Romans 10 that can be summed up like this: How will the world hear about Jesus if you do nothing? God uses Christians to spread the word that His salvation plan is available to all. He put us in families and communities and nations so we will mingle and share what we know. But some believers are called to carry the gospel farther than others. Those who stay behind are to offer prayer and resources for those who travel.

If you’re shaking your head and thinking, Mission work isn’t where my heart is, I have news for you: Every believer is called to missions as either a goer or a sender. That call comes in dramatic ways for some, but for most of us, it is simply a biblical principle to be followed (Matt. 28:19). What’s missing for those who don’t have a “heart” for such work is passion. Christians who share and go and send are often excited about God’s message for unbelievers—and it’s possible for you to become more enthusiastic too.

I challenge you to ask the Lord, “Am I open to going anywhere You send me?” Our roots in a community should be sunk only as deep as God wills. If you aren’t called to go, then choose to be a sender. Offer your prayers, your money, and anything else that will help to put others on the mission field.

February 25, 2011 – Begg

The Storm of God’s Wrath

. . . The wrath to come.     Matthew 3:7

It is pleasant to pass over a country after a storm has spent itself–to smell the freshness of the herbs after the rain has passed away, and to note the drops while they glisten like purest diamonds in the sunlight.

That is the position of a Christian. He is going through a land where the storm has spent itself upon His Savior’s head, and if there be a few drops of sorrow falling, they distill from clouds of mercy, and Jesus cheers him by the assurance that they are not for his destruction.

But how terrible it is to witness the approach of a tempest–to note the forewarnings of the storm; to mark the birds of heaven as they droop their wings; to see the cattle as they lay their heads low in terror; to discern the face of the sky as it grows black, and to find the sun obscured, and the heavens angry and frowning! How terrible to await the dread advance of a hurricane, to wait in terrible apprehension till the wind rushes forth in fury, tearing up trees from their roots, forcing rocks from their pedestals, and hurling down all the dwelling-places of man!

And yet, sinner, this is your present position. No hot drops have fallen as yet, but a shower of fire is coming. No terrible winds howl around you, but God’s tempest is gathering its dread artillery. So far the water-floods are dammed up by mercy, but the floodgates will soon be opened: The thunderbolts of God are still in His storehouse, the tempest is coming, and how awful will that moment be when God, robed in vengeance, shall march forth in fury!

Where, where, where, O sinner, will you hide your head, or where will you run to? May the hand of mercy lead you now to Christ! He is freely set before you in the Gospel: His pierced side is the place of shelter. You know your need of Him; believe in Him, cast yourself upon Him, and then the fury shall be past forever